Friday, 31 October 2008

Liam's Prayer Partners List

Thank-you to everyone that has blessed us with your stories, emailed us, sent around the prayer list and committed to pray for Liam. It has been amazing to see God work in Liam and all of our children as they see the names and places that you are from, come into our inbox. We have had some requests to post times that are still open to pray for Liam. I will start with the first couple of days.

November 5th - Liam's Surgery Day

3:00am - 3:30 am
1:30 pm - 2:00 pm
2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
3:00 pm - 3:30 pm
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm
5:00 pm - 5:30 pm
7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
10:00 pm - 11:00 pm

November 6th - Liam will be in Intensive Care

12:00 am - 1:00 am
4:00 am - 4:30 am
5:00 am - 5:30 am
9:00 am - 9:30 am
9:30 am - 10:00 am
11:00 am - 11:30 am
Every half hour slot from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
5:00 pm - 5:30 pm
7:30 pm - 8:00 pm
9:00 pm - 9:30 pm
10:00 pm - 10:30 pm
10:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Pray for us today as we prepare to host an outreach event at our house tonight with our worship team and church. Pray that we will live out Colossians 3:14 "Above all else clothe yourself in love..." to everyone that comes to our door. Pray that our acts of love will point people to Jesus. Pray for opportunities to connect with our community. Pray that the light of Jesus would reign as we pray for all of you, that today you would use every opportunity that He gives, to share what He has done in your lives.

"Do all these things without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe." Phillipians 2:14-15

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Pre-op Day at McMaster for Liam

Yesterday was Liam's pre-op at McMaster Children's Hospital. It was a long tough day especially for Jason and I. As always even in a tough day there were moments when God reminded us that He is in control and that He will work everything for good. The first was when we pulled into the underground parking at Mac. I was starting to get a bit nervous and wondering if we were doing the right thing bringing Daniel and Caroline. Liam out of the blue said to us all. " I know why I have this brain tumour. It is so I can tell people about Jesus and not get in trouble." I hate it when my eight year old is smarter then I am. Here I was worried about us and he was already focusing on what God might be asking him to do.

As always when we go for an appointment somewhere Liam brought a bible to give away. He decided today was the day that he would give away the bible that Jack from The Family Christian Bookstore in Burlington gave him. It is geared for kids Liam's age. Our first stop was to wait to see a child life specialist who would explain the surgery to our children and answer any questions that they might have. She showed them pictures of the operating room, some of the equipment and did a great job of putting their minds at ease. It was in this children's waiting area that Liam decided that this would be a good place to leave his bible. Please pray for the child that picks up the blue bible. We saw so many families yesterday. Families in crisis trying to cope and I just can't even imagine what it is like for them and for their children without the comfort of Jesus. Pray that they will read Liam's personal message inside the front cover and hear his heart sharing about His God who saves, who loves them and who cares about what they are going through. After Liam arranged the bible on one of the kid's tables just so we were off to take him to get his blood work done and meet with Liam's surgeon.

Liam really does not like needles. Who does? He was really brave and was holding tightly to his prayer bear from Biltmore Baptist as the nurse got ready to poke him. As a looked at him large crocodile size tears started to spill down his cheeks. I went over and held his hand and got him to look at me. He was really very brave and it was over quickly. Although he was a bit concerned with the amount of blood that took from him!

Our final stop for the day was to visit the neurosurgery clinic and Dr. Singh. We had an amazing moment when Liam started looking for one of the bibles that he had left on an earlier visit. He was very excited to discover that someone had taken it home! It was no longer anywhere in the waiting area and believe me he looked! Please continue to pray with Liam that the person who took this bible will begin to learn about Jesus and will come to know Him.

Our meeting with Dr. Singh was great for Liam but hard on Jason and I (we had to sign consents and listen to all the risks associated with the surgery). Dr. Singh is wonderful. As she walked into the waiting area. She called to Liam. "Hello Sunshine!" He is at ease with her and she did a wonderful job explaining some of the unpleasant things that Liam will feel after the surgery. After Liam left the room, Dr. Singh also did a great job of explaining to us what they saw on the new MRI. There is not much change from his last set of pictures which is good news as the tumour has only grown a little. She is still confident that is not cancerous and that because it has grown we are doing the right thing by having it removed now before it causes significant problems for him. We are continually thankful to God that he allowed us to find it now rather than later and that he has put together such a fabulous surgical team. There will be four neurosurgeons in the operating room! Liam's surgery will start at 9am on Wednesday November 5th and will last approximately 6-7 hours. They will even allow one of us to go into the operating room with him and stay until he is asleep. This is an answer to prayer as my biggest fear was having to leave him alone when he was awake and scared.

Thanks to all who have already signed up for a time on Liam's prayer partner list. He loves to see all the emails come in. He gets very excited. If you have not signed up yet please just send us an email with the time or times that you would like to pray. We have divided the days into 1/2 hour slots all day and night every day from November 4th - November 14th. Thank-you to all who prayed for us yesterday. It is comforting to know that we are not alone in all of this.

Watch for a post later in a couple days. Liam is shaving his head and donating the hair to a charity called Angel Hair for Kids. This charity makes wigs for children who have cancer. We will take before and after pictures. Also we are getting ready for our annual Halloween event that we host at our house. This event reaches out to neighbours in our community. Our worship team plays music on our front lawn and last year we handed out over 400 pieces of candy with scriptures. Pray that we will shine for His light on Friday night to those that come.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Next Appointments for Liam & Prayer Partner List

Well, the days seem to be flying by. Liam's surgery is now only eleven days away. Next week we will be at McMaster Children's hospital two days in a row in preparation for the surgery on November 5th.

Monday October 27th we will meet with the neuropsychologist that is on Liam's team of care. She will be conducting tests on Liam that will give her a base line for his intelligence and learning. In approximately a year they will re-test him to compare the test results before surgery and after surgery. These tests will take approximately four to five hours. Her name is Dr. Cheryl Alyman. We spoke on the phone for a bit last week. She explained to me her role on the team and gave me some general guidelines of what to expect. She reiterated again that the brain takes a very long time to heal. It will be a minimum of six to eight months and many times it is up to a year. Liam will need to take rest even when he does not feel like it for months after the surgery.

On Tuesday October 28th, Liam will have his pre-op appointment. We will meet with nursing staff, his anesthesiologist and a child life specialist. This team will explain the surgery and answer any questions that we have. Liam's older brother and sister, Daniel and Caroline are coming with us to this appointment so that they have some idea of what to expect when they see Liam after surgery. After we get all the paper signed and we are finished at the pre-op department we will head up to the 3F clinic to see Liam's surgeon Dr. Singh. She will examine Liam, meet with us to talk about Liam's MRI test results from last week and answer any final questions that we may have.

Today, we are sending out an email with a prayer partner sign up sheet. Our hope is to have people committed to praying for Liam for every minute that he is in the hospital. We will keep the prayer partner list in his hospital room and be able to tell him who is praying for him. Your faithful prayers have been a tremendous blessing during some very difficult moments in the past few months. If you are not on our email list and would like a copy of this sign up sheet please send us an email at . Feel free to take this sign up sheet and have other people sign up at your church, your prayer chains etc. Email it back to us when you are done and we will update our master list. Our plan is to have updates and prayer needs posted on a daily basis to this blog. We will have internet access from McMaster.

Continue to pray for complete healing for Liam. Just this morning, he is having a migraine. Pray that it is short lived and that he does not have any more. Pray for Liam and his appointments next week. Pray for Daniel and Caroline that they will be able to have all their questions answered about their brother's surgery. Pray for Jason and I as we meet with Liam's team. Pray that we will shine Jesus' light and that they will see something different. Pray for opportunities for us to share the hope that we have. Pray for wisdom and discernment for us as parents. Pray that will know when our children are worried or stressed over this situation. Pray for the people that receive the bibles that Liam leaves and for the prayer bears that he gives to children he meets. Pray that they will read scripture and come to know the God who saves. Pray for our family and especially my grandmother as my grandfather passed away on Monday. Poppa Les was an amazing man and although we have no doubt that he is with Jesus we will miss him. Pray for peace for all of us as Liam's Surgery draws near. Thank-you for your continued prayers. God Bless.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Liam's Special MRI at St. Joseph's

We set off very early this morning to get to Liam's appointment on time. He had his bible that he wanted to leave in the waiting room. When we got there it was a very small room with just a couple of chairs and only two magazines. Liam wasn't sure about leaving it there but in the end we decided it would be a good place. The bible he gave away this time came from a friend we met at Biltmore Baptist. She did not know at the time but a Holman Christian Standard Bible is the same translation of bible that he first asked to give away when he was seven. He likes that Christ's words are all in red! We placed an inscription inside the front cover. He also got to pray for the person that will pick up this bible with his friends DJ and Ethan Langley last night. I was privileged to be a apart of that prayer and it was a powerful time with those three boys.

The staff came and took Liam in about twenty minutes after nine. He was in great spirits as they gave him hospital scrubs to wear. Everything went well for the MRI. The technicians said that Liam was really great. He did have to have an IV inserted in his arm so that was a bit sore when he came out just over an hour and fifteen minutes later. The tech's said he was so brave that they gave him the scrubs for being so good. He was thrilled. They also let us take a few shots so you could see the MRI machine.

Liam is now sleeping but I know he would want to thank all of you that were praying for him this morning. Hopefully, we will have some news soon as to the plans for his surgery on November 5th. We will let you know as soon as we do so you can be more specific in your prayers. God Bless!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Liam's MRI

Tomorrow is a big day for Liam. He is really nervous. Twice now he has asked " Can we just skip it?" I understand his trepidation. It is a big, noisy machine and he does not know exactly how long he will be in the machine and he knows he has to have a needle, which might hurt. Who really likes needles? I think we are all a bit uneasy with things of the unknown. Circumstances that are beyond our control. Why is that? Why when we believe in God's promises and ultimately we already know the ending of God's story do we worry? We had this discussion last week at our worship team practice.
We are reading through Philippians as a church. Last week we looked at Philippians 1:27-30. As we sat pulling apart the passage, I made a confession to the group. Verse 28 hits close to home with me. Paul is writing to the Philippians who are being persecuted and he encourages them to be "in no way alarmed" by the people who are persecuting them. Not only has Paul called them to "only conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ" but then he upped the anti by telling them that as they do that, they also should not get alarmed by their opponents! All this from a man who has been imprisoned for the gospel. Yikes! So although I am still a work in progress, I am comforted by the fact that God will finish the good work He has started in me and that you continually holding us up in prayer while I am working through it.

Liam's MRI is suppose to start at 9 am tomorrow. I will try to update the blog when we get home.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Liam Has a Surgery Date

We have some news. Liam's surgery is now scheduled for Wednesday, November 5th. He will be admitted to the hospital on November 4th (if there is a bed, if not he can't go until 2 hours before the surgery time) and then the actual surgery will take place on the 5th. Even though it is not any of the dates that we had been given Liam is happy about it. It is after our annual "Shine Your Light " event at our house on October 31st and before Christmas!

Our next bit of news is that we also have been given a date for Liam's special MRI. It will be one week today on Thursday October 16th at 9:00 am at St. Joseph's hospital in Hamilton. Liam is a bit worried about this test. He has to have at least one needle and the test itself will longer than the last MRI that he had. St. Joe's does not have the video goggles that he got to use the last time at McMaster which brought down his anxiety. We are thankful that he has been able to get this appointment. There are only two MRI machines of this kind in all of Ontario. We have been told that they will be able to map out all the areas of his brain for it's different functions. So they will know exactly where the part of his brain that controls his speech will be etc. The other tests on the this machine will map out all of the veins and arteries in Liam's brain. These three tests will help Dr. Singh and her surgical team come up with the best possible route to help remove the tumour.

I will try to update the blog the afternoon after the tests to let you know how they went.

Our prayer requests continue to be to pray for complete healing for Liam. Pray for peace for Liam about his MRI next week and that it will go smoothly. Pray for Dr. Singh and her team as they take the test results and plan Liam's surgery. Pray for Daniel, Caroline and Trinity that they will not be worried about Liam. Pray that there would continue to be opportunities to share the good news and hope of Jesus with those we are building relationships with through Liam's illness. Pray that the bible that Liam will leave at his appointment next week will be opened and read by someone who needs to hear about Jesus. Pray for Jason and I as parents and that we would rely on Jesus to sustain us. As the day is now set I personally am dreading the moment in which I will have to let go of Liam's hand as they take him into surgery. Pray that I will remember to trust that Jesus will go with him where I can't.

Thank-you again to all for your continued support through prayer. We will never be able to express how much it helped and encouraged us.

Below are just some funny photos of the kids when I took them to the pumpkin patch this week.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Music City - Our Little Detour

We made it home last night safe and sound but not before we took the kids on a little detour to music city. Yes, we drove west from Asheville, North Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee. It was a short visit but we had a lot of fun. We arrived just before lunch with the one hour time change. We took the kids to see the Ryman Auditorium. Jason explained to them it's significance in music history. Then we took them for a walk down Broadway. If you have not been to Nashville it is a great place to visit. Lots to see and do. The kids were amazed to see all the musicians and that most places had live music even at lunch! Everywhere we looked somebody had a guitar in a gig bag over their shoulder or in their hand. We walked in some of the shops and looked at cowboy boots and hats and all of the Elvis paraphernalia. We showed the kids the southern baptist sunday school building and the current SBC offices. It was great to talk about all the history of the city in terms of our love for music and our denominational roots. The kids started to get hungry and a trip to music city would not be complete without some good BBQ so we headed off to Jack's Bar-b-que for lunch. Jack's has been around for some time and is plastered on the inside with old photos, articles and music memorabilia. We had a good laugh when the guy at the counter asked Daniel if he wanted his smoked chicken with or without feathers. I wish I could have captured the look on Daniel's face with my camera! The rest of us had pulled pork except for Jason who had to try the three meat platter. Pork, brisket and sausage with two side veggies! Everything was delicious and with our bellies full we went to walk around the street a bit more. We showed the kids Ernest Tubbs record shop and a vintage guitar store (George Gruhn) in which I kept TJ on my hip. We saw a mandolin for $25,000.00! Needless to say there were no guitars for Jason. We got to explain to the kids about old records, 78's and 45's when we went into a vintage record store. Sometimes I forget that they have never known anything except CD's and MP3's. With our time fading away we set out to find some other music stores. We hit a couple on our way out of town but Jason still did not find a deal on his dream of an Epiphone Casino hollow body guitar. For now he will just have to be content with going into our local guitar store and "trying" it out.

As I write this post, we have just finished our first day back. First day back into routine is always hard for the kids and for their mom. I am looking forward to tomorrow when the laundry is all finished and the kids are working hard to get all their school work done so they don't have to do it Saturday! We had a fabulous week away but it sure is good to be home.